Christmas tree comes to life, scares holiday spirit into school

Nadine Kalinauskas

There's a lot to be thankful this holiday season, including the fact that your Christmas tree isn't likely to attack you.

The media department at Kilgore High School in Kilgore, Texas, decided to startle a little holiday spirit into staff and students with a simple prank.

Faculty posed beside a Christmas tree to record a holiday greeting. What they didn't know: a student was inside the tree, reading to growl and pounce.

Teacher Michelle Gilgan told the Longview News-Journal that student Rowdy Cayce, a junior, proposed the idea of him dressing up as a Christmas tree and scaring teachers and students.

"I was like, 'Heck yes! Let's do this,'" Gilgan said.

"He was amazing at it. We had set the tree up in my classroom about three days ahead of time so people were used to seeing it. It was just sitting on a tripod and a dolly in my classroom."

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When Cayce donned the tree costume, the fun began.

"We just died laughing," Gilgan told the New York Daily News. "I think it's just the season. It's a clean, innocent fun prank."

The video went viral, ending up on Good Morning America and The Today Show. Other schools have contacted Kilgore High School, hoping to copy the prank in their halls, too.

"Kilgore, Texas, is a small community compared to New York or Houston and Dallas even," school superintendent Cara Cooke told the Longview News-Journal. "But the students can show their creativity through all the different social media that weren’t available before.

"The students are feeling really good, and they’re walking tall. It is something these kids will always remember and maybe propel them into other achievements."